New York City Watershed Program
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Overview

The Watershed Protection and Partnership Council (WPPC) was created by the historic New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement to provide a regional forum to aid in the long term protection of New York City’s drinking water, and the economic vitality of the Upstate Watershed communities. Consisting of representatives from Watershed stakeholders, the Council brings the parties together - as partners - to share information and reports of progress as well as to identify issues of concern. It also provides a resource for dispute resolution. The Technical Advisory Committee, East of Hudson Advisory Committee and East of Hudson Sporting Advisory Committee provide sound technical support to the Executive Committee and the full Council.

About the NYC Watershed

The New York City Watershed is the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States, serving 9 million New Yorkers with about 1.3 billion gallons of clean drinking water each day.  The New York City Watershed spans nearly 2000 square miles, extends 125 miles north and west of New York City, and includes 19 reservoirs.  It is also home to nearly 1 million inhabitants.  This “living watershed” poses unique challenges to the scientists, engineers, managers, legislators, residents and stakeholders working and living within it.

Watershed Partnerships and Protection Council

Memorandum of Agreement set forth a comprehensive watershed management program enabling the city to continue supplying unfiltered water while providing for appropriate economic development in the upstate watershed communities. As part of the agreement, numerous Watershed Protection and Partnership Programs were established. The New York State Department of State administers certain partnership programs and serves the municipalities in the watershed. 

WPPC Partners 

  • Catskill Center for Conservation and Development 
  • Catskill Watershed Corporation 
  • Delaware County Department of Watershed Affairs 
  • New York City Department of Environmental Protection 
  • New York State Department of State 
  • New York Public Interest Research Group 
  • New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets 
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 
  • New York State Department of Health 
  • New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation 
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Riverkeeper 
  • Watershed Agricultural Council 

Funding

The Water Quality Planning and Implementation Grants program, administered by the Department of State (DOS), is designed to assist watershed communities in preparing or updating comprehensive plans, establishing or revising community development tools and local laws, and creating strategic plans for hamlets, villages, and other potentially developable areas within the Watershed. Both East- and West-of-Hudson Watershed municipalities are eligible for the grants. No grants are being offered by DOS at this time. 

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) partners with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) in the East-of-Hudson area and Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) in the West-of-Hudson area to implement a series of programs designed to help protect water quality from septic system contamination. EFC provides financial and technical assistance primarily for water quality projects. The CWC administers water quality protection and economic development programs in the Catskill/Delaware (West of Hudson) Watershed.  

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DEP funds numerous programs that help to improve environmental infrastructure—especially stormwater management and wastewater treatment—while promoting and supporting environmentally sound economic development throughout the watershed region. For example, they have programs to extend sewers, build wastewater treatment plants, increase economic development, and manage stormwater.   

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The East of Hudson Watershed Corporation is a local development corporation established by the municipalities in Northern Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess County in the NYC Watershed  to install stormwater retrofit projects to meet the requirements of Phosphorus reduction defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).  

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Science & Technical Conference

The New York City Watershed Science and Technical Conference is an annual opportunity to bring scientists, professionals, and other experts together with watershed stakeholders and the public, to technically inform, exchange ideas, and unveil new information regarding the protection of the nation’s largest unfiltered surface water supply. Each year the conference showcases the most current trends, technologies and scientific developments in the arena of watershed protection and management.  

A collection of abstracts prepared for the annual New York City Watershed Science and Technical Conference:  

Resources

New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement  

An historic agreement signed in 1997 to protect the New York City water supply. 

New York City Watershed Programs and Information 

New York City funds and implements a comprehensive Long-Term Watershed Protection Program focused on both protective and corrective initiatives to ensure extraordinary high water quality.  

Pesticide and Fertilizer Technical Working Group Final Report  

A report and recommendations related to the use, storage, and application of pesticides and nutrients in the New York City Watershed.